becoming completely still and letting myself just be causes a muscle in my back to bunch up like somebody’s old cheeseburger wrapper. also, my mind doesn’t like itself so getting to know my true quiet self is something like really getting to know your own athlete’s foot. i need relaxation techniques here, visualization! sitting calmly with myself is not going to help me through labor. it’ll help me through a nervous breakdown, that’s about it. chalk this labor-preparation tactic up to a bad call. plus, can they keep the room at any temperature below 80? i mean, it’s bad enough that i have to be alone with myself for an hour. not only that, it’s a hot hour. just more fodder for my mind to think that my body is in some way dying.
the most helpful thing anyone has given me thus far to calm the panic that arises from time to time as i near the end of this pregnancy, is to simply shut everything else off and say to myself, “i am a healthy woman with a healthy baby.” number one, it’s simple, so you can’t mess it up, no matter how scattered and less dense your pregnancy brain has become. number two, you think someone will judge you on not being critical? not being aware of your situation? not true. why? because it’s all in your head. no one knows what’s going on up there. you don’t know! they might think you’re doing complex statistical analysis up there, when really the only thing going on is a simple mantra like that. seriously. it works. it helps if you don’t just say it to yourself, but really let the words expand until they are like big bubble words and they are all you can see. they take up all the brain space you have, and there is simply not anything else that will fit up there.
i need to wash ruth’s sparkly tights.
ruth has suddenly started, not only being really shy and reserved, but also being angry around other kids. now, she’s a real crowd-pleaser. maybe ruth needs some meditation. or a mantra.
dear ms. cosenza, my third grade teacher, please guide and watch over my terror of a three year old and keep her safe from her own anger. please help me to model good behavior (yeah right) and teach her the skills to cope with her feelings without lashing out at others or burying them deep within herself. with your guidance, i will go to target and buy ruth a new pair of sparkly tights so i can start alternating. maybe she won’t notice. bless that buddhist monk who teaches my class and his awesome orange robes, i have no idea how he can survive in that room, and bless all of the people who benefit from meditation, but don’t let me forget next time that i fuckin’ hate buddhist meditation and now i still have three classes to attend ’cause i’m a cheap ass who can’t stand to waste money. and please let joel keep his damn head down, and to have a very malleable skull. please let him grow big and strong (but not too big) and let him come out all pink and crying with an apgar score of at least 8, preferably 9, but whatever is your will. amen.